OPINION: Don't Forget What Happened Last Session

Since the 2021 legislative session, there's been a lot of outcry from Montana hunters and anglers. Whether it's our discontent about repeated attempts to privatize elk, a disregard for scientific management, or a lack of opportunity for public participation, there's no shortage of complaints coming from the camo crowd.

Perhaps no single bill has had a more negative impact on Montana hunters than Rep. Berglee's (R-Joliet) HB 637, signed into law by Gov. Gianforte on May 14, 2021.

Lawmakers knew this was unpopular, which is why the bill was passed on the 2nd to last day of the 2021 legislative session after a suspension of the rules allowing for an expedited process with zero chance for public comment. The bill was 37 pages, filled with resurrected ideas that had already been defeated earlier in the session. Things like tag giveaways for outfitters, allocating $1 million of sportsmen's dollars for pen-raised pheasant stocking, sweetening the deal for large landowners who want free, limited-entry bull permits, contentious changes to mountain lion hunting opportunities and more were all either mandated by HB 637 or set in motion by it.

Read more from the Helena Independent Record here...

About Brandon Ellis

Montana Chapter Leader, Stewardship Coordinator

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